A new treatment could prevent brain damage after traumatic brain injury (TBI), a study has revealed.
It comes after a team of researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, published the results of an innovative new trial involving mice.
According to the report, the new therapy involves boosting certain electrical signals in the brain, resulting in the increased activity of proteins that can stop sudden and uncontrolled electric currents in nerve cells.
These uncontrolled currents are common in people who experience a TBI, often manifesting as seizures.
In the trial, researchers found that they were able to reduce brain damage in mice with a TBI to levels comparable to those who had never experienced a TBI.
The team behind the discovery say the new treatment could change the outcome of a TBI if used quickly and effectively by first responders.
Commenting on the study, Dr Jose Cavazos, an epilepsy specialist at UT Health San Antonio, said: “We need treatments that alter some of the disabling consequences of TBI.
“Current antiseizure medications don’t prevent the development of post-traumatic epilepsy. Our study examined this critically important therapeutic gap and proposes a novel pharmacological intervention shortly after TBI that might prevent post-traumatic epilepsy.”
At current, there are no or very limited post-TBI treatment options available to the millions of people experience a TBI worldwide, which is what makes this development so important.
Explaining the potential of the study, Dr Cavazos added: “Think about the possibility of taking medication shortly after the injury and preventing disabling epileptic seizures months to years later.”